Christmas For CAMHS began as an informal group in 2016, when a junior doctor realised that some children in hospital over the Christmas period don’t all get any presents at all. These children are inpatients within the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS).
Dr Rosanna Bevan (who lives in Chiswick, London Borough of Ealing) was encouraged by Matt Glanville and Lauren Nathan-Lane, who couldn’t bear the thought of any child being in hospital and forgotten by Santa at Christmas, so they stepped into action.
Christmas For CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services) has gone from strength to strength since then – achieving registered charity status in July 2020. While many members of the public and corporate donors give Christmas gifts to children’s hospitals or children’s wards in general hospitals, CAMHS units were frequently forgotten, before this group of friends decided to take action. Having raised £1,000 in 2016, they have increased their fundraising and outreach each year to the point that they had already raised £8,000 at Christmas time 2019! In total they raised £10,000 in 12 months.
Christmas For CAMHS hopes to ensure every child in a CAMHS unit has some quality presents to unwrap this Christmas and it seems the British public are firmly behind this marvelous mission! Dr Rosanna Bevan said, “We want to let young people going through a difficult time know we’re thinking of them. We’d love to reach more of them and give meaningful gifts that help them cope whilst in hospital”
CAMHS unit staff said, “The gifts were very much appreciated by the Young People, they struggled to understand why people would want to go out of their way to do this for them, but were very happy with the presents.”
Almost all funds raised are spend directly on presents for unwell children, as everybody working with the charity is an unpaid volunteer elf and overheads are extremely low. To donate to this year’s appeal please go to: www.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/CAMHS2020
More details about CAMHS services can be found on NHS Choices here: